There has been renewed pressure on lamb prices over the weekend, with factories reducing base quotes for Monday by 20c/kg.
This leaves base quotes dropping under the €7.00/kg mark, with most plants opening negotiations with a base quote offer of €6.80/kg.
Quality assured lambs traded from producers with lower negotiating power are selling in the main from €6.95/kg to €7.00/kg, with groups and regular sellers with greater negotiating power securing returns of €7.00/kg to €7.10/kg and higher in certain cases.
The reduction in quotes is translating to a stickier trade in mart sales.
Reports from the sheep sale in Ennis Mart on Monday pointed to challenges in pushing lambs above the €150 mark.
The top price on the day of €158 was paid for a batch of nine top-quality lambs weighing 51.5kg, with good-quality lambs weighing 48kg to 50kg selling from €147 to €150, while lambs weighing 44kg to 46kg sold from €140 to €148, depending on quality and kill-out potential.
Prices in Kilkenny Mart eased by €2 to €6/head on the previous week. There was solid demand for heavier top-quality lambs, with tighter supplies in the market.
Prices reported by auctioneer George Candler included those ranging from €152 to €158 for top-quality lots weighing from 49kg to 52kg, while the top price of €168 was paid for a batch of five heavy lambs weighing 60kg.
Lighter lots weighing 44kg to 47kg are reported as selling from €143 to €147. Prices paid for lambs lacking flesh was behind this level and ranged from the mid-€120s to mid-€130s for lambs weighing 41kg to 43kg.